September 26, 2014

The Third Yes

What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' He answered, 'I will not'; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, 'I go, sir'; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first."
- Matthew 21:28-31a 

My first yes was eager and earnest and ill-thought
it was spirited and bouncing and saw the whole
world like a Chicago snow globe I could shake into beauty
but I shook nothing and made no magnificence here

My second yes was my ego in search of positioning
and a title and a moment on the dais under lights
so everything I signed up for ended dissonant
and cracked and unfinished like a garage hobby

And then came my honest, exhausted, deflated no
and I merely made my bed and tipped the barista
held the door for the guy with the baby stroller
answered the phone with a helpful thought or two

And then as I held onto no and not me and not now
you uttered the unexpected yes into this slight life of
saving no one and fixing little and mostly walking with
arms and eyes open to the next and tiniest of faithful things

September 20, 2014

It Was a Good Day for God

Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?
- Matthew 20:15 

Before the sundown sip of three-cubed Irish whiskey
and the pondering of the universe and counterpoint
and the choice to give time its particular flow

it tickled the Almighty to place that random
twenty dollar bill on the floor next to the chair
where the college student studied empty-walleted

it gave goose bumps to the Lord’s arms to let
the wind loosen the church door latch and the
misplaced woman on the stoop came in for the night

it was a holy thrill to speak absolution to a man who
figured out how to purge all his needle-stick guilt
and put himself in a place of pleading and let it go

a long day for a researcher in communicable disease
ended with a novel idea from nowhere on how
a vaccine might be tweaked for double effectiveness

by dinner the Great One enjoyed inspiring a stuck poet
with the words bounteousness and exultation
and fingers eager to put fearless words on the page

it was a good day to be God when generosity
was seen as the goodness of God and this
goodness was praised as the Godness of God

September 13, 2014


Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
- Matthew 18:21-22

There was the time you lied about the car crash
and the time I told you I didn’t go to the corner bar
there was the time you let the cat out and she got crushed
and the time I let loose my tongue and spit venom
this is how we hurt each other: not in the act
but in the clinging and the trumpeting of wounds
and the holding on to justice like a rapier
sliding and clicking the abacus beads for each injury
from the coveting to the stealing and adultering
the killing, the lying, the false accusing and the rest
as if by keeping tally, and keeping a balance of accounts
we could make our offenses against each other fair
and we end not with balanced books, but endless debt
or we could stop the goddamned counting and winning
and see how the calculus of grace breaks the abacus
strings the beads into a polished necklace gifted to each other
with laughter and humility and freedom and zeroed lines